Thursday, November 11, 2021

Thursday, November 11, 2021
The apostle Matthew record’s Peter’s audacious prayer!

Matthew 14:26-28 When the disciples saw [Jesus] walking on the sea, they were terrified . . . Peter said to Him, “Lord. If it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” (NASB)

Have you ever found yourself squarely in God’s will . . . doing what He wants you to do – and the bottom drops out of everything! Christ-followers in the 21st century
want a God who will keep them healthy, help them retire comfortably, and enable their kids to turn out alright! God is committed to one thing when it comes to His followers . . . making them like Himself!

In this passage, Jesus sent His disciples ahead of Him across the Sea of Galilee. When they obeyed, they found themselves in a terrible storm: a journey that should have taken an hour took 8 hours!! In Mark’s gospel it reveals, meanwhile, Jesus was on a mountain nearby praying and watching their toil. Finally, between 3 and 6 am He came to the disciples walking on the water! They were terrified and Peter, who often spoke first and thought later, is at his best and asks that he might come to Jesus walking on the water!

No one else in the boat exercised such great faith . . . and make no mistake Jesus loves it when we pray big! Having faith to walk on the storm-tossed sea, Peter, went wrong when he got his eyes off Jesus, and onto the winds! Perhaps Jesus knew all along Peter would sink? But I believe the disciple was a different man that the one who stepped out into the tempest! He had walked on water – unforgettable – but believe me if there was ever a next time, he would remember to keep his eyes on Jesus, who reigned supreme over the wind and the waves!

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Wednesday, November 10, 2021
The author of Chronicles records one man’s bold prayer.

I Chronicles 4:10 Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” (NASB)

Prayer is the God-ordained means by which the resources of Heaven may be accessed to supply the needs and difficulties of life. Although Christ-followers are commanded to pray; it is a resource often left untouched. However, if prayers are lifted God always answers prayer: the answer may be Yes, No or Not now.

Jabez is a man whose names means “pain”. There are many reading these words that can identify . . . your life is marked by pain. What can be done? Have you spread your circumstance before the Lord and cried out to Him? I believe the pain of Jabez was the motivation God used to develop his prayer life.

First, Jabez leverages the Abrahamic covenant, by praying to the “God of Israel”. God’s promises are a great place to begin in prayer because whatever God promises – He fulfills. Next, Jabez prays that God would bless him . . . indeed! I take this to mean over and above what he needed that he might bless his family and needy friends. As Chronicles is the genealogy of Israel note there is a mention of a mother but no father. At the least it suggests a single parent family and Jabez wants sufficient blessing to stand in the gap and meet not just his need but those of others.

“Enlarge my borders”, commentators suggest that Jabez’s family may have somehow lost their families inheritance in the Promised Land. Jabez wants to reacquire what has been lost! Next, Jabez prays God’s hand would be with him
— something that was true of Joseph. Even in prison, falsely accused . . . God’s hand was with Joseph. So Jabez suggests that in-spite of the hardship that has befallen his family he desires God’s hand to remedy the situation: God’s way and in God’s time.

“Keep me from harm” This request reveals a play on words. “Lord, keep this family problem from being a ‘Jabez-kind-of-pain’ in my life. Jabez was drawing a line saying whatever sin or weakness might have beset my family – with God’s help it will not be part of mine”.

The result of this feisty man of prayer? “God granted him what he requested.”

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Tuesday, November 9, 2021
The apostle Luke records a Roman soldier’s request of Jesus for a miracle.

Luke 7:6-7 [The Roman centurion said to Jesus] “Do not trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. Say the word, and my servant will be healed.” (NASB)

When I was in high school during the 1960’s it was during the Jesus movement. You didn’t have to be in a church or dress a certain way to worship. People were having communion on beaches or attending church in sandals! However, God is great and mighty and while He is accessible no matter what your income or position in society . . . beware of becoming too “familiar” with God! Bible teacher Chip Ingram reminds us that Christ dwells in unapproachable light, He is not like the best version of the nicest man you know . . . He is completely other!
In Luke chapter 7, a Roman centurion, friendly to the Jews, had a beloved servant who was dying. This powerful Gentile sent Jewish friends to Jesus to request the Savior come and heal his servant. (The centurion felt unworthy to come to Jesus himself!) Jesus was willing and began the journey . . . when He was near the centurion’s home – the soldier again sent word saying, “I don’t deserve to have you come to my home — just speak a word — and my servant will be healed!” What an audacious prayer!!
What really set this man’s faith apart was revealed when a someone pointed out that the Roman not only asked for a miraculous healing . . . he asked Jesus to heal his servant long-distance! He was praying big!! Faith in a great God is evidenced by requests that are out of the ordinary. How often my prayers are those for the humanly possible. The things which require faith are the things that are not humanly possible. Jesus marveled and said, “I have not seen such great faith, even in Israel”. In Matthew it says, “And his servant was healed in that same hour.”

Monday, November 8, 2021

Monday, November 8, 2021
Moses recorded his experience asking God a very big request.

Exodus 33:18 Then Moses said, “I pray you, show me Your glory!” (NASB)

Have you ever been hesitant to pray for a certain request? Maybe it seemed too big or unusual. On the other hand, you know the Bible teaches that – with God, nothing is impossible! Never be afraid to pray a BIG prayer request or a difficult prayer request . . . God can handle it. Leave the answer up to Him!

Remember when Moses gathered the Israelites around Mount Sinai, and he went up into the cloud of God’s glory and received the 10 commandments? Remember, also, upon returning to the people Moses found they had created an idol and begun worshipping it! (How is it people can respond so differently to the visible presence of God?) Moses had to intercede on behalf of Israel to prevent God from wiping out the nation. Having secured a merciful forgiveness from the Almighty — Moses has something to request for himself!

Moses asked to see God’s glory. After all, he had spent a lot of time speaking to God; he was desirous of knowing more. The Bible says, “no one can see God and live.” So, God showed Moses as much of His glory as any mortal man could bear! Read about it for yourself in Exodus chapter 33.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Friday, November 5, 2021
The Psalmist David writes how God is capable of directing the conduct of a receptive follower, with merest hint of divine will.
Psalms 32:8 (God says) I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. (NASB)
One community has life-size cut-outs of one of their deputies holding a device that clocks how fast motorists are going. These “card-board cops” are positioned around the community where cars are apt to speed. The result? Cars slow down! And get this, they slow down even if they know it’s a cardboard cop!! Why? Because even the suggestion of a policeman watching, affects how people drive.
The Bible backs this up when it says God will counsel you with His eye. My father was a pastor and when I was restless and noisy in church — or even tempted to be — I dreaded looking up at the platform and seeing my father’s eye upon me like a laser! I straightened up immediately!! May we live in constant awareness of the presence of God and turn from temptation with the mere thought — He is watching.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Thursday, November 4, 2021
King Solomon reminds you God sees the good and the bad; the one to reward and the other to judge.
Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching over the evil and the good. (NASB)
We often think evil doers get away with it. No one ever gets away with wrongdoing! This is a lie of the enemy. The Bible says that which is hidden will be made known; eventually punishment will be exacted. Not every time does God take the life of the evil! A friend reminds me to pray for the salvation of those who do evil; something our Lord modeled on the cross!
Every Christ-follower would be hopelessly and justly condemned to — eternal separation from God and the bliss of Heaven — were it not for His amazing grace! Bible-teacher Chip Ingram talks about the “velvet vise” of God that steadily increases pressure on our hearts until we willingly cry out, “I give” — confessing our wrong-doing. If you have a sin God is convicting you of – stop, do not delay in humbly confessing it, and turning from it. If you have never had the sin in your life taken care of, go to and click on the box that asks, “Do you know Jesus?”